Clare B. Dunkle

Reviews & Edition Information for In the Coils of the Snake

By Clare B. Dunkle. New York: Henry Holt, 2005.
Book Three of The Hollow Kingdom Trilogy.
A folklore-based fantasy novel for young adults.

Black Forest in October

A 2006 VOYA Best Fantasy book.

A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book.

A Junior Library Guild selection.

A 2005 Sonderbooks Stand-Out.

Aschehoug has released a Danish edition translated by Birgitte Brix. The Danish title is I Slangens Vold.

A Danish audio edition may be available as well.

"... This satisfying conclusion to the Hollow Kingdom trilogy more closely examines relations between the tough, practical goblins and the sensitive, graceful elves, the two magical races dwelling in Dunkle's Victorian England. ... Followers of the series will revel in this (evidently) final opportunity to lose themselves in Dunkle's distinctive, intriguingly disquieting vision."
—Booklist (Starred review)

"... Book Three explores the history and racism of the goblins and elves in a compelling manner. The reader gets a full sense of the new characters and their struggles as well as the origins of hate between the goblins and the elves. Dunkle examines all sides, and the reader is exposed to both the beauty and ugliness of elf and goblin. This book is best read as the last in the trilogy, but it is as exciting and fascinating as the first installment."
—VOYA (5Q: Hard to imagine it being better written)

" ... Dunkle again brings together her intensely drawn worlds of goblins and elves, set against a backdrop of feuds, rituals, magical practices and cryptic prophecies. ... The turning points of misunderstanding and manipulation upon which conflicts build are uncannily reminiscent of events in our own time, and the scenes in which we plummet toward seemingly inevitable war are some of the best in the book. The exploration of unthinking—even unconscious—cruelty in each society is often remarkable and occasionally breathtaking, as the story winds through relationships between captor and captive, victor and vanquished. ... A striking fantasy that stands alone well, although for maximum enjoyment, it ought to be read in conjunction with the first two books."
—Children's Literature (Uma Krishnaswami)

"... Thoroughly pleasurable, displaying all of the charm and romance of the trilogy's previous titles. ... The ably drawn new characters ... will become as dear to the audience as the old favorites. Readers will learn more about the intriguing and elusive elvish race, and, as before, Dunkle introduces new magic and specifics about day-to-day life that continually enliven the story. The novel is a must-read for fans of the earlier Hollow Kingdom books, and fans will relish every minute of their final chance to spend time in this enthralling world."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The magical descriptions are just that; readers are drawn into two unique worlds through vivid details that paint a clear picture without bogging down the action that drives the story."
—Children's Literature (Wendy Glenn)

"Dunkle has created a tightly drawn fantasy with a pair of strong, independent female protagonists striving to find their places in new societies. The author's themes of the need for tolerance and her exploration of the often-superficial differences between races are continued from earlier volumes and add meaning to the text. ... Dunkle's language and plotting help build the mood and move her suspenseful story through its twists to its satisfying finish."
—School Library Journal

"I have read so much fantasy that I just love a great book that shows elves in a different light. ... All three titles in the series are well worth having."
Cindy Mitchell (Rated Essential for middle school collections)

"The most beautifully crafted of the three books."

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